EVERGREEN, Colo. (KDVR) —Colorado state leaders officially broke ground on construction projects along I-70 near Floyd Hill Wednesday.
Major relief from congestion on I-70 is still a while away but some improvements to make the road safer for drivers and the environment are coming soon.
“Almost every Coloradan at some point has been at this chokepoint going west towards the mountains or east on highway 70. It affects freight traffic and logistics. These are really important improvements that we’re breaking ground on today,” said Governor Jared Polis at a press conference with other leaders looking to break ground on smaller items within the Floyd Hill project.
“The two roundabouts at US 40 and Homestead and then US 40 and County Road 65. The construction costs on that one is about $10 million,” said Kurt Kionka, I-70 Floyd Hill Project Director. “The other early project that is starting here shortly is the wildlife crossing in Genesee is that one the cost is about $9 million.”
Governor Polis and other leaders working on the project are glad funding for the project is on track to cover the years’ worth of development.
The total cost for the project is still estimated to cost around $700 million but part of the $700 million will now be covered by a $100 million grant from the federal government senators advocated for, even bringing Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to Colorado to explain the need for the funding.
Colorado senators saying their advocacy paid off.
“I just couldn’t be more pleased that this is one of the earliest projects that the infrastructure bill is responsible for across the country and the largest grant Colorado has ever received for the Department of Transportation,” said Senator Michael Bennet.
The entire project is still expected to be completed by 2027 with major construction to revamp I-70 between Floyd Hill, and the Veterans Memorial Tunnel in eastern Idaho Springs.
This part of construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2023, but leaders said Wednesday’s groundbreaking gives them a big push towards the finish line.